Berkeley/IRCAM/Carl Sound Format

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File Format
Name Berkeley/IRCAM/Carl Sound Format
Extension(s) .sf


The Berkeley/IRCAM/CARL Sound Format / File (BICSF), developed in the 1980s, is a result of the merging of several different earlier sound file formats and systems including the csound system developed by Dr Gareth Loy at the Computer Audio Research Lab (CARL) at UC San Diego, the IRCAM sound file system developed by Rob Gross and Dan Timis at the Institut de Recherche et Coordination Acoustique / Musique in Paris and the Berkeley Fast Filesystem.

It was developed initially as part of the Berkeley/IRCAM/CARL Sound Filesystem, a suite of programs designed to implement a filesystem for audio applications running under Berkeley UNIX. It was particularly popular in academic music research centres, and was used a number of times in the creation of early computer-generated compositions.



  • Audacity. Early versions (v1.2) of Audacity can read .sf files - presumably later versions can as well.
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